LinkedIn can be an important part of your job search. However, it can be overwhelming when you first join. If you plan to spend a lot of time on a LinkedIn job search, you want to make sure that you follow the rules of etiquette to keep people from getting annoyed with you. The goal is to contact the people you need to get exposure while not developing a reputation.
Inviting Others to Connect
One of the main purposes of LinkedIn is to broaden your base of contacts by increasing your network. You should reach out to your friends and family who are on LinkedIn but it gets a bit more complex when you look for colleagues or potential employers to connect with.
When LinkedIn first started, it was more controversial to reach out to people that you did not know well but as the community has grown, contacting people that you don’t know is much more acceptable. Sending a personal note when you invite people to connect may help you gain the connection; explain why you would like to connect and mention where you have met or communicated with the person before. Personalizing your invitation is a good piece of etiquette advice.
The best time to get a recommendation is shortly after you work with someone – the memory of your skills, abilities, and attitude is the freshest at this time. When you are asking for a recommendation, you should give a full reason why you need it: whether it is to get a job, beef up your profile, or just document a working relationship.
It is important to send a list of things you accomplished while working with them. You can ask for a recommendation from a colleague or employer later on but you might have to remind them who you are and when you worked with them.
If the person gives you a recommendation, remember to send a letter of thanks – that’s the most important bit of etiquette of all!
Posting Updates to Your Profile
While posting multiple updates a day on Twitter is acceptable and often expected, such frequent updates are not okay on LinkedIn. Post an update only once a day; this update needs to be something related to your professional life. Don’t connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account – especially if you set it up where your updates on Twitter show up on your LinkedIn feed. That is bad form and will not make your professional contacts happy. Your co-workers usually don’t want a play-by-play of your daily activities so your professional contacts would not as well.
Although it can be challenging to step into the LinkedIn world, if you remember to treat people online as you would treat them at a place of employment, you should be in good shape. If you want more information on using LinkedIn, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp today.